The ASE are pleased to announce the shortlist for the inaugural First Cut program.
It was a very competitive field with over 60 entrants this year. Our selection committee were incredibly impressed with the quality of editing work seen throughout the process. The volume and high calibre of the applications certainly confirmed how much we need programs like this, and we will be working hard to continue to create opportunities for Editors.
We thank all the applicants for taking the time to enter, and congratulate them all on their excellent submissions.
Four of the following Editors will be placed in attachments, thanks to Screen Australia funding.
Michelle St Claire
First Cut is a professional attachment program designed by the ASE to address the shortage of broadcast-and-streaming-ready Editors. Australian Television needs more Editors, and the editing community needs clear pathways for emerging and early career Editors ready to take that next step to gain their first credits.
First Cut offers a bridge for Editors into the risk-averse landscape of television. The program will provide targeted mentorships within active productions. On-the-job learning overseen by trusted senior Editors, endorsed and supported by production companies.
We are seeking Editors who have a strong body of work, but who have not yet achieved their first longer-form broadcast or streaming credit. First Cut aims to provide career changing opportunity for Editors at the top end of the community of emerging/early career Editors.
First Cut will offer four paid mentorships - two (2) in scripted, two (2) in factual / documentary.
The selected Editors will have demonstrated:
- creative excellence
- a strong understanding of high-tempo professional workflows
- clear career objectives
- a proven capacity for building good industry networks.
The program strives to be a meritocracy, creating opportunities in which no-one is disadvantaged, that works directly to close the capacity gap the Australian Television industry is currently wrestling with.
Each attachment will involve a six-week engagement with a specific production (to be confirmed). The recipient will receive invaluable experience cutting one episode in a block (in the case of drama) or cutting character stories, segments or an episode (in the case of factual / documentary).
A senior Editor will have been engaged to work on their block of the program. The First Cut Editor will be engaged to cut one of the Episodes in that block, overseen by the senior Editor.
During the edit period, the First Cut Editor will assemble the rushes as they come in, work on the director's cut, the producer’s cut, and the network cut. They will respond to notes throughout, all while receiving support and guidance from the senior Editor.
All going well, the First Cut Editor will take the episode to lock. But if required, the senior Editor is on-hand to ensure deadlines are met and quality is assured.
During the 6 weeks, the First Cut Editor will have the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback on the program. It is our intention to provide a transparent, well supported program for all recipients.
This is an exceptional opportunity for Editors to gain learning and insight they cannot get anywhere else, real-world experience with no risk, financially, to the schedule, or to the overall quality of the shows First Cut Editors work on.
And, importantly, it’s an unparalleled opportunity for Editors to gain their essential first broadcast credit.
We encourage applicants who identify as First Nations Editors; Editors from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; Editors living with disability; Editors who identify as female; Editors who identify as LGBTQIA+; and Editors located in regional and remote areas. Applicants must be Australian residents.
If you require any special assistance, please advise us in your application. We encourage you to read the guidelines carefully. If you have any additional questions, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications close 25 AUGUST 2023 and can be made here with the following materials:
- confirmation of current full membership to the ASE
- a fully completed application form
- a CV
- a personal statement (250 – 300 words) that includes:
- Where you think you’ll be in 5 years;
- How this attachment would support those goals;
- Why you think you’re ready for this opportunity.
- a letter of recommendation (maximum 1 page) from a producer, director, or editor you have worked with
- a sample of your work (up to 30 minutes)
The applications will be assessed by a panel of 3 senior members of the ASE. They will assess:
- the strength of the applicant’s existing credits and suitability for the opportunity;
- the strength of the submitted work sample;
- the strength of the letter of recommendation; and
- the perceived experience and knowledge of the applicant in relation to industry practice and the attachment requirements.
We aim to make the application and assessment processes as transparent as possible, but given the volume of applications we anticipate, we do not have the resources to provide feedback on each proposal.
A shortlist of 8 applicants will be selected and invited to a short interview via Zoom. The final 4 will be chosen according to availability and mentor preference.
Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application on 2nd October 2023, with placements to follow between October 2023 and July 2024.
How much previous experience do I need?
First Cut is designed for Editors who have had several years’ experience, but who haven’t yet managed to gain that critical first professional broadcast credit. They may have successful short form works or have been an assembly Editor on a broadcast program. They may also have experience in another format/genre and be looking to make a change to scripted drama or factual / documentary. It’s for Editors who are good collaborators and have a proven track record of quality work delivered on time and on budget.
Who will mentor me?
Our mentors will be highly experienced Editors who have a broad range of credits over many years in broadcast TV and SVOD platforms. They are award winning, industry leaders in either drama or factual / documentary.
What kind of production will I be matched to?
First Cut is designed around either one episode of a scripted drama show, or the equivalent on a factual / documentary series alongside mentor Editors. Productions are to be confirmed, but these will be high quality productions from some of Australia’s leading production companies, including CJZ, Easy Tiger, Fremantle, Jungle, and Northern Pictures.
Where will I be working?
Editors selected for the program will work with the rest of the post-production team in the facility selected by the production. The program has support from The Post Lounge, Evolution Post, Blue Post and Trackdown, as well as in-house suites at Northern Pictures.
It’s likely these attachments will take place in Sydney or Melbourne, but the program is open to anyone in Australia.
Will I be paid?
You will be paid a stipend and fringes for the 6-week attachment.
Am I able to work from home?
The aim of the program is to give the recipient regular face-to-face contact with the rest of the post-production team, so it’s unlikely WFH will be possible. If this is something you require, please make this clear in your application.
I am from a regional area or am interstate. Will I be expected to cover my own travel and accommodation costs?
Please make note in the application form if you will require assistance with travel/accommodation expenses.
The program has initial support from several State based agencies who are open to applications seeking help with transport and accommodation expenses associated with attending the program if you’re outside the major metropolitan centres where the placements are likely to take place. We cannot guarantee this funding, but we will assist with your application.
How long will the attachment go for?
The attachment will run for approximately 6 weeks. During this time, you will get to know rushes, edit scenes or an episode, collaborate with the rest of the postproduction team, respond to notes from directors, producers, and network, and implement changes accordingly.
Will I get a screen credit?
The aim of the program is to give each recipient an on-screen broadcast credit. This may be a shared credit in the case of factual / documentary where the Editor might work on a character story or segment, or a sole credit in the case of scripted content. The credit will be consistent with the format of the production and in keeping with the credits given to the other Editors on the program. This relies on the recipient successfully delivering the work on time and on budget.
How should I submit my work sample?
For ease of use and widest compatibility across devices, the ASE highly recommends Vimeo as the best site to upload and stream your video.
YouTube is also acceptable - but please don’t use any other services (Dropbox, Hightail, OneDrive, Digital Pigeon, GoogleDrive, WeTransfer, etc.)
We need to make sure the judges can readily stream your video easily and at the highest quality.
Do I need to be a member of ASE?
Yes. It is a requirement that you hold current full membership to the ASE.
When will this happen?
Whilst we don’t have exact dates, placements will be made within October 2023 – July 2024.
I’m a full-time student. Am I eligible?
You will need to be available to work full-time for the duration of your attachment, approximately 6 weeks. We can’t guarantee this would fall in semester break, so we suggest speaking to your course director to discuss options before you apply.
I might not be available as I have other work booked. Should I still apply?
We encourage people to apply. Please make a note of any periods of unavailability in your application, as it will assist with planning should your application be successful.
I’ve worked as an Assistant Editor, but I haven’t got any Editor credits. Am I eligible?
We are seeking well-credentialed Editors who have a strong body of work. This might be short films, music videos, web series etc. It’s also possible you may have worked as an assembly Editor, animatic Editor or similar, and we strongly suggest you include a letter of support from the Editor you have worked with, attesting to your strengths.
Do I need any technical equipment?
You will not need any equipment, but Avid Media Composer skills are essential.
Who is paying for this?
This program has been funded for the ASE by the Screen Australia Production Crew Skills Training Fund.
If you have any questions not addressed in the guidelines, please contact the ASE at email@example.com before submitting your application so that we can help you make your strongest submission. We recommend submitting questions before 20th August in order to guarantee a response.